3.15.2011

The Surgery

It was scheduled for Thursday, March 3.

On Tuesday, March 1, I got a call from the surgeon saying there was a very unfortunate scheduling mistake and the surgery had been canceled. We would need to reschedule for a few weeks later. I told him that wasn't going to work out very well. The kids were packed. Steve's schedule at work was rearranged. Assignments to help with the kids were given. My blood was tested and I was tagged for a transfusion. I was ready.

On Wednesday, March 2, Dr. Steppacher called back saying he got me in for surgery on Friday, March 4 at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake. He called me back later to say he switched it back to McKay-Dee Hospital.

On Thursday, March 3, I got a call to pre-register me for the surgery at Intermountain Medical Center. And then another one from McKay-Dee Hospital. Calls were made to both surgeons to verify location of surgery. That afternoon, I got a call from Intermountain Medical Center to give me my surgery time. And then that evening, I got a call from McKay-Dee Hospital telling me what time to come in for surgery. Surgeons were again called to verify location of surgery.

We took the kids to grandma's house, completed our to-do lists, and went to sleep, fairly confident that surgery would take place at Intermountain Medical Center in the morning.

On Friday, March 4, we checked in at the hospital and I changed into my gown, bidding farewell to all forms of privacy, comfort, and modesty. Nurse #1 failed (miserably) at her attempt to put in my iv. Nurse #2 came in to insert my PICC line. First attempt was unsuccessful because I passed out. I woke up to six nurses crammed into my room, all trying to take a peek at the action. Nurse #3 was brought in to put in the iv; second attempt with the PICC line went much better.


Dr. Steppacher came in to talk to us for the last time and signed my abdomen. (Is that funny to anyone else? It was my first time being signed for an operation.) An hour or so later, I was wheeled away. The anesthesiologist asked me if I was nervous. Yes. I was. I was near-tears nervous. Steve said goodbye, and then I was off to the operating room. Thankfully, that's when I went to sleep. (Before the epidural.)

Surgery went well. I think I can say it went perfectly. Instead of a Dacron bypass, Dr. Steppacher was able to use a bovine patch, which is expected to last longer. (Hopefully, until I die. I can't imagine going into this surgery knowing exactly what I was going to have to go through in recovery.)

Dr. Steppacher was really pleased with the surgery and said if there was anyone who could be given the sometimes-controversial diagnosis of MALS, it was me. And he really enjoyed operating on someone with healthy arteries and tissues, for a change. His only disappointment was that he didn't have his fancy-schmancy camera during the procedure. (His camera was stolen and the replacement arrived a few days after the operation.) I'm sure the images would have been fascinating. And disgusting.

That might have worked out for me.

3 comments:

Kassi Luck said...

Wow, is all I can say. I am glad the surgery went well and I hope your recovery goes as fast as you would like it to.

Amanda said...

The next time someone fails to get your vein, tell them to call me. Uncooperative veins and I are friends. Just sayin.

Glad everything was so very uneventful....

Josh M said...

I know the problem.... you should have had a paramedic put in that IV! For me, a motion-less room with lots of light is a dream come true. Really though, your incision looks great, although the stuff in the NG tube is disgusting.